Shyam Selvadurai

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Shyam Selvadurai
Born 12 February 1965
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Occupation Writer
Nationality Sri Lankan-Canadian
Period 1990s-present
Notable works Funny Boy, Cinnamon Gardens
Spouse Andrew Champion

Shyam Selvadurai (born 12 February 1965) is a Sri Lankan Canadian novelist who wrote Funny Boy (1994), which won the Books in Canada First Novel Award, and Cinnamon Gardens (1998). He currently lives in Toronto with his partner Andrew Champion.[1]

Selvadurai was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka to a Sinhalese mother and a Tamil father—members of conflicting ethnic groups whose troubles form a major theme in his work. Ethnic riots in 1983 drove the family dot to emigrate to Canada when Selvadurai was nineteen. He studied creative and professional writing as part of a Bachelor of Fine Arts program at York University.[1]

Selvadurai recounted an account of the discomfort he and his partner experienced during a period spent in Sri Lanka in 1997 in his essay "Coming Out" in Time Asia's special issue on the Asian diaspora in 2003.

In 2004, Selvadurai edited a collection of short stories: Story-Wallah: Short Fiction from South Asian Writers, which includes works by Salman Rushdie, Monica Ali, and Hanif Kureishi, among others. He published a young adult novel, Swimming in the Monsoon Sea, in 2005. Swimming won the Lambda Literary Award in the Children's and Youth Literature category in 2006. He was a contributor to TOK: Writing the New Toronto, Book 1.[2]

In 2013, he released a fourth novel, The Hungry Ghosts.

In 2013 Shyam's Funny Boy was included in the syllabus under marginalized study and gay literature of the under graduate English Department of The American College in Madurai.[3]

In 2014, Shyam was presented the Bonham Centre Award from The Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, University of Toronto, for his contributions to the advancement and education of issues around sexual identification.[4]



  1. ^ a b Hunn, Deborah (2006). "Selvadurai, Shyam". Archived from the original on 11 May 2008. Retrieved 5 September 2007. 
  2. ^ TOK: Writing the New Toronto, Book 1. Zephyr Press. Fall 2006. 
  3. ^ "Making gender flexible - Madurai". The Hindu. 2014-10-24. Retrieved 2015-08-12. 
  4. ^ "The 2014 Bonham Centre Awards Gala celebrates Power of the Word on April 24, 2014, honouring authors and writers who have contributed to the public understanding of sexual diversity in Canada". Pennant Media Group. 2014-03-19. Retrieved 2015-08-12. 

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